Who doesn’t want a bright, white smile? No matter your age or background, having whiter teeth can make a huge difference in your appearance and confidence. At Mylifesmiles Dental Clinic, we understand how important your smile is, so we offer various teeth whitening procedures to help you achieve your brightest, most beautiful smile. In this blog, we’ll overview the different methods and types of teeth whitening so you can understand your options. We’ll cover in-office power whitening, take-home whitening trays, whitening strips, toothpaste, rinses, gels, and more. By the end, you’ll know how to choose the best teeth whitening treatment for your needs and budget.
Professional In-Office Whitening
In-office power whitening is performed at the dentist’s and provides the fastest, most dramatic results in only one visit. A hydrogen peroxide-based whitening gel is applied directly to the teeth and then activated by a specialized light. The light speeds up bleaching to whiten teeth several shades in an hour.
Custom take-home trays are also filled with a bleaching gel and provided to the patient to continue whitening at home. With the combined power of in-office and take-home systems, teeth can become up to 10 shades whiter.
In-office systems cost more but whiten more intensely in less time. It includes methods like Laser teeth whitening.
Take-Home Whitening Trays.
Take-home whitening systems involve wearing custom-fitted plastic trays filled with a hydrogen peroxide-based bleaching gel for 1-2 weeks or longer. Trays should be worn for 1-2 hours daily, with many offering overnight wear. The trays fit over teeth to keep the whitening agent in contact with stains.
Results are seen in a week or two, with teeth becoming lighter shades. Take-home kits allow you to whiten at your own pace and typically cost less than in-office treatment. For optimal whitening, many patients use take-home trays after an in-office session.
Whitening strips consist of thin, flexible plastic strips coated with a whitening gel. Name brands like Crest feature no-slip designs that temporarily adhere to the front teeth for easy application. The peroxide gel stays against teeth to lift stains and bleach from the enamel.
Strips are disposable and used for 30 minutes 1-2 times daily. They gradually lighten over two weeks of consistent use but may cause gum irritation. Generic strips are cheaper, while named brands provide the best results. Strips only whiten and bleach the exposed tooth surfaces.
Whitening mouthwashes feature low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. When swished in the mouth for 60 seconds daily, the solution comes into contact with teeth to lift some stains and discoloration. However, whitening rinses produce minimal results compared to trays and strips.
A whitening rinse is best for minor upkeep between professional treatments. Use for two weeks, then take a break before restarting. This helps avoid mouth irritation and tooth sensitivity from prolonged use.
Whitening toothpaste includes polishing agents and chemicals like hydrogen peroxide to buff away surface stains each time you brush. This provides a bit more brightness but cannot penetrate deep stains. Toothpaste maintains results from other whitening systems but doesn’t significantly bleach.
Look for toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure safety and effectiveness. Whitening pastes should still contain fluoride for cavity protection.
Results appear gradually over 4-6 weeks when brushing twice daily.
Thicker gels offer more intense bleaching than whitening toothpaste since they adhere and penetrate better. Gels contain 10-22% carbamide peroxide that sits on the teeth for up to an hour. Brush on a thin layer, let it work, then rinse. Use once daily for the duration directed on the product.
Gels provide brighter teeth within 2-3 weeks of application. However, they can irritate sensitive teeth and gums. Consult your dentist before DIY use, especially with very high peroxide concentrations.
Other Whitening Options
Natural whitening options like charcoal or baking soda lack peroxide for bleaching but help buff stains on enamel. Be wary of abrasiveness damaging enamel over time. Commercial lighting pens apply hydrogen peroxide directly to stains. Use cautiously to avoid gum burns.
Schedule a visit with Mylifesmiles Dental Clinic to discuss your teeth’ discoloration and whitening goals. We’ll help you select the safest, most effective whitening method based on the level of stain removal you wish to achieve.
The Pros and Cons of Different Whitening Methods
All teeth whitening procedures have advantages and disadvantages:
In-Office Power Whitening
Pros: Fastest results, ten shades improvement, whitens sensitive teeth.
Cons: Most expensive, gum irritation, tooth sensitivity.
Take-Home Whitening Trays
Pros: Customized fit, bleach over weeks, cheaper than in-office treatment.
Cons: Time commitment to wearing trays causes some sensitivity.
Pros: Easy to apply, gradual lightening, affordable.
Cons: Only treat front teeth; irritates some gums.
Pros: Quick daily use, helps minor stains, whitens hard-to-reach places.
Cons: Minimal results; prolonged use damages enamel.
Pros: Use while brushing teeth, polishes away surface stains, low cost.
Cons: Light bleaching takes weeks to see the minor effect.
Pros: Stronger bleaching, adheres to teeth longer than pastes.
Cons: Can burn gums and teeth, annoying application process.
When considering teeth whitening methods, account for your current whiteness, level of desired lightening, budget, and special conditions like gum disease or fillings. Mylifesmiles Dental Clinic provides customized whitening consultations to match the ideal solutions to your needs.
Why Professional Whitening is Recommended
While over-the-counter whitening products have their place, visiting a professional for teeth whitening has distinct advantages:
A thorough exam to check for cavities or other issues needing treatment before whitening procedures.
- Custom whitening trays fit your teeth precisely for safe, mess-free application.
- Professional formulas contain ideal peroxide concentrations for whitening and minimum side effects.
- In-office power whitening achieves whiter teeth the same day for special events.
- Vitamin E gel application protects gums from irritation during whitening sessions.
- Dentist monitors for side effects like sensitivity and intervenes appropriately.
- Combination methods like in-office treatment plus take-home trays provide longer-lasting whiteness.
- Any necessary touch-ups or redo sessions are included.
The bottom line is professional teeth whitening administered by a dentist provides the most excellent results with less risk than DIY treatments. Mylifesmiles Dental Clinic uses state-of-the-art whitening technology to give you your dream smile safely and comfortably.
How to Prevent Teeth from Re-staining After Whitening
No matter what whitening method you use, maintaining your bright smile involves diligent oral hygiene and lifestyle adjustments, including
- Brushing and flossing twice daily and cleaning all tooth surfaces.
- Use whitening or desensitizing toothpaste between sessions to preserve color.
- Avoid dark-staining foods and beverages like coffee, tea, wine, soda, berries, tomato sauce, and curry.
- If you consume staining items, rinse with water immediately to prevent residue from sticking to teeth.
- Quit smoking and tobacco use, including vaping, to prevent nicotine discoloration.
- Have touch-up or redo whitening treatments annually to keep your smile bright.
- Ask us about take-home trays, gels, and pastes to maintain your new white shade.
A bright white smile makes a good first impression and improves anyone’s self-esteem. Mylifesmiles Dental Clinic offers cutting-edge teeth whitening procedures, from in-office power bleaching to custom at home trays. Contact us today and let’s discuss your choices for an even brighter smile!